What is a standby custodian?

We know parents love their children unconditionally and always try to do what is best for them. But sometimes events and situations happen in a parent’s life where they may be unable to take proper care of their children. When times such as these happen, parents may want to designate a standby custodian to step into the parent’s shoes to help care for the children.

A standby custodian is a responsible and competent adult who has been designated to care for another adult’s minor children for a certain finite period of time.  The time period is usually 60 days. The parent does not lose or give up his or her parental rights when using a standby custodian.  Using this process lets another adult “step into the shoes” of the custodial parent to help out for a short period of time when the specific criteria outlined in their agreement develops. Such criteria, or triggering event, can be if a parent is going to be out of state or out of the country, is going to be attending drug or alcohol treatment or is in the hospital and the other parent is unable to care for their children.

The parent can revoke the standby custodian appointment at any time.  A standby custodian is not the same as a temporary custodian, who can care for a parent’s children for up to 24 months.

A parent wanting to designate a standby custodian must complete the Minnesota Designation of Standby Guardian form. It is important to note that once the form is completed, it must be filed with the county where the children live within 60 days of the triggering event.

Parents considering appointing a standby custodian may want to speak with an attorney experienced in child custody matters to learn more about legal ramifications of this type of document and other possible routes to take.

Contact experienced family law attorney Jessica L. Sterle at (218) 722-2655 to schedule a consultation to discuss needing a standby custodian.